cars in a lot
Physical Security Industry

Security Camera System for Car Lot Theft Prevention

Ashesh Jain
Oct 18, 2023


The surge in thefts of catalytic converters and vehicles over recent years has elevated the importance of car dealership and car lot security. Owners of these establishments now expect their security camera systems to do more than just capture video footage of thefts as they occur. The current standard is inadequate. Given the swift advancements in AI, business security systems should be equipped to proactively detect suspicious activity (for instance, someone lurking in the parking lot late at night), emit an audio alert to ward off potential culprits, and instantly notify the owners or the police. As it stands, owners often only have low-resolution video footage of the car theft after the fact, or they incur significant costs for round-the-clock video monitoring, which can still fail to prevent theft.

In this blog post, we will cover:

  1. Types of crimes impacting car lots and dealerships
  2. Leading AI-based video security features that deter crime
  3. Success story from a Coram AI video intelligence user

The top cloud-based camera security providers for auto dealerships and parking lots, include:

  1. Coram AI
  2. Stealth Monitoring
  3. Verkada
  4. Rhombus Systems
  5. Spot AI
  6. Eagle Eye Networks
  7. Avigilon

Catalytic Converter Theft

Thefts of catalytic converters in 2023 are 21 times higher than in 2019.1 Car lots and dealerships are not exempt from this crime, with several vehicles vulnerable at a time. In September 2023, a Lincoln car dealership in Lincoln, Nebraska fell victim, resulting in the loss of 7 catalytic converters valued at $6,700, in addition to $3,500 in damage.2 These thefts can transpire within minutes, underscoring the urgency of prevention.

Coram AI at 1-800-GOT-JUNK? company
**1-800-GOT-JUNK? using Coram AI alert feature to keep their property safe during night time

Catalytic Converter Theft at 1-800-GOT-JUNK?

1-800-GOT-JUNK?, a leading junk removal service in the US with 180 locations, often leaves its fleet of trucks parked overnight.

Noah Lander, a franchise partner, faced recurring thefts of catalytic converters from his vehicles in St. Louis, Missouri. After the third incident, he recognized the need for a camera system overhaul. Prior to switching to Coram AI, he utilized a Hikvision system, which frequently gave false alarms due to its sensitivity to all forms of motion, including mere changes in lighting. Despite having a 24/7 monitoring service, they struggled to thwart the crimes, as the notifications generated were often irrelevant.

What attracted Noah to Coram AI was its capability to discern motion specific to "people", "vehicles", or "animals". This ensured that only significant events triggered alerts, which were sent directly to his phone, email, and monitoring service. To verify its effectiveness, Noah tested the system at night, evaluating its accuracy. Since adopting Coram AI, his facility has remained theft-free, though he has received several valid alerts regarding nighttime activity.

"This is the future," stated Noah Lander. "The software delivers on its promises, and it's only improving. Their customer service and developmental responsiveness are top-tier."

1-800-got-junk truck

Theft and Damage to Cars

Beyond catalytic converter theft, car dealerships and lots are frequently targeted for vehicle thefts. The culprits often exploit poor video surveillance in dealerships, both inside the office and in parking areas. Additionally, thieves often break into the office to access keys and fobs, facilitating vehicle theft.

Many car lots that have reported vehicle thefts had vulnerable front doors and inadequate office security systems, which failed to alert owners or the police. These thefts result in substantial financial losses due to both the stolen vehicles and property damage.

Strengthening Car Lot Security: Cameras, Audio Alerts, and Alarms

Car lot security systems face distinct challenges. The key features they seek include:

  1. Real-time alerts from security cameras
  2. Audio alerts to deter potential crimes
  3. An intuitive cloud dashboard to manage all cameras
  4. Simplified video sharing for police collaboration
  5. 24/7 monitoring for human verification and police notification

Real-time Alerts from Security Cameras

The chances of stopping a theft increase drastically if it is detected in real-time. When an audio alert sounds and notifications are sent to the owner and their monitoring service provider, the system's effectiveness is evident. Yet, many systems today can't perform this function. A persistent challenge is the high number of false alarms, which can desensitize owners over time. Hence, it's essential for camera security systems to leverage AI in identifying suspicious activity rather than merely sounding an alarm for any motion.

Audio Alert from a Speaker to Deter the Crime

Issuing an audio alert to warn potential intruders is crucial during a potential crime. Therefore, the security camera system should seamlessly integrate with audio speakers.

Intuitive Cloud Dashboard to Manage All Cameras

Delivering a low-latency, high-resolution, smooth video feed to owners and their security staff is vital. This clarity helps in assessing the situation in real-time and deciding whether police intervention is required. Thus, all cameras should be cloud-based and easily accessible remotely, both via mobile devices and laptops.

Moreover, owners ought to have the flexibility to customize alerts through the dashboard. For instance, if there's scheduled maintenance in the car lot at midnight, they can either snooze the alarms or designate zones where alerts won't be triggered.

Easy Video Sharing with Police

For swift police action and subsequent investigations, sharing video footage securely and efficiently is paramount. The cloud-based security system should, therefore, be adept at generating secure video links that are universally accessible.

24/7 Monitoring to Cross-Check by Humans and Call the Police

When a potential crime is identified, immediate notification to the video monitoring service is imperative. They can then promptly assess the live feed and decide on the next steps, such as informing the police. For this, a flawless integration with the backend monitoring station is essential to ensure human oversight.

Coram AI for Car Lot and Car Dealership Security

Coram AI stands out as a trusted provider for car lots and dealerships due to its:

  • Advanced AI that detects suspicious activity with high precision.
  • User-friendly cloud dashboard that facilitates alert customization, monitoring, and video sharing.
  • Fully cloud-integrated security camera system offering low-latency and high-resolution video streams.
  • Seamless integration with audio alerts and 24/7 monitoring services.


With the alarming uptick in thefts at car lots and dealerships, AI's role in proactively curbing these crimes is undeniable. Incidents, such as catalytic converter thefts, can be preempted by real-time detection, prompt audio alerts, and immediate notifications to security personnel. We are proud to be at the forefront of developing these systems, with proven success across diverse clientele.



1. Voight (2023). Catalytic Converter Thefts Down Nationwide, But Still 2100% Higher Than 2019. BeenVerified.

2. Chibe (2023). $6,700 worth of catalytic converters stolen from seven vehicles at Lincoln car dealer. KLKN.

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